Factors Affecting Prostate Cancer Screening Behaviour in a Discrete Population of Doctors at the University Hospital of the West Indies, Jamaica


To determine the knowledge, attitudes and practices of Jamaican male medical consultants regarding prostatecancer screening in three departments within the University Hospital of the West Indies. The research design wasa cross-sectional quantitative survey utilising a self administered questionnaire. All 36 male consultants between40 and 70 years from the Departments of Surgery Radiology Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Obstetrics andGynaecology/Child Health, and Medicine participated in the survey. Bivariate analyses were used to determinethe relationship between the three constructs with P < 0.05 taken as statistically significant. The majority (97%)of the respondents were aware that prostate cancer among Jamaicans account for one of the highest incidencesin the world and 85% believed that screening for prostate cancer should begin at age 40 years. Approximatelytwo-fifths (44.4%) reported that they usually encourage their patients to be screened. Nearly all (97%) of therespondents agreed that performing both the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test and digital rectal examination(DRE) are more effective in assessing for the presence of prostate cancer. Just over one-third (36%) found theDRE embarrassing and 41% had never had a DRE. The results showed a significant positive correlation (r =0.374, P = 0.032) between knowledge and attitude, and an even stronger correlation between attitude and prostatecancer screening practice (r = 0.395, P = 0.025). However there was no direct correlation between knowledgeand practice. Physicians’ knowledge of prostate cancer does not predict their personal prostate cancer screeningbehaviour. Knowledge of prostate cancer is not enough to result in screening behavior of men in Jamaica.